A new name in fashion: Ç x Façonnable by Mira Mikati
The Beirut-based style authority’s new line
Mira Mikati is the co-owner of beautiful Beirut concept boutique Plum (considered to be to Lebanon what Colette is to Paris) and creator of a new and cool collaboration line. The success of Plum, which caters for both adults and children, has seen it considered to be quite the fashion haven for the women of the Middle East, and led to Mikati being approached by French tailor label Façonnable two years ago to collaborate on an elegantly beach-orientated women's RTW capsule collection - 'Ç x Façonnable', stocked in contemporary boutiques, globally.
Buro 24/7 catches up with the charming entrepreneur and mother-of-two to find out more.
Ç x Façonnable SS14
Tell us about your latest collection for Ç x Façonnable, what inspired the line?
The brand's Riviera roots, the carefree and effortless style of a summer holiday, the idea of a permanent vacation and the joy and happiness that comes with being barefoot in the grass, camping and picnicking elegantly in the fresh air, being on holidays 365 days a year!
Sounds wonderful. Do you have a favourite piece in particular?
The 'nature' embroidered bomber jacket, when I received it from the factory, I felt that my heart was about to stop, and didn't sleep all night from excitement. I just can't wait for it to be in my closet.
You are so busy designing Ç x Façonnable, buying fashion and childrenswear for Plum as well as caring for your own children - how do you balance it all?
I often ask myself, as I don't know how to delegate; I guess I work better under pressure... I always finish my collections last minute just before I collapse, during the buying period I start my appointments very early in the morning, eat in the car, I'm quite quick in the buying which helps a lot. I catch up with my kids after school, during the weekend and during their school break, and try avoiding working during their free time.
Why did you choose the names for Plum and Ç x Façonnable?
Plum was actually picked by my business partner Raya Dernaika - I love that it's short, strong, elegant, effortless and easy to say. As for Ç x Façonnable - the cedilla is just so French, and so is Façonnable, so I wanted to bring heritage back to the brand.
What do you love to do in Beirut?
A studio visit to Marwan Rechmaoui to discover his great art. A lunch at Chez Maguy, a very kitsch fish restaurant that sits high up on a cliff - Maguy there will spoil you with her Lebanese hospitality and generosity. Get an organic basket delivered the doorstep from Johnny Farah's organic farm, and eat rose ice cream at Oslo. Buy handmade soaps at Les Senteurs d 'Orient and finish with some amazing brownies from Cocoa and Co.
Who do you admire professionally?
Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter, we met when she started her business; I had a small line of hand painted denim which she bought for the site on consignment. I was so scared to take the risk but still went for it - I was attracted by the project, the energy of Natalie and the name of Net-a-Porter. We didn't see each others for more than 10 years - then I bumped into her and even after her amazing success story, she has stayed so very humble and simple, recalling the days when she started still in disbelief of her achievements.
Describe a usual day in your working life
Wake up early and exercise - TRX or Pilates, shower, go to good life eatery - eat a chia seed pudding and a Ninja turtle green vegetable shake, go to office - emails, calls, designing, browsing, rushing, stressing out, always late-late-late! Failing to get organised. Eat yummy kale salad again from good life but this time delivered to the office, stressing out, candies, chocolate then kids-kids-kids and sleep early, or go out - if I go out I'll sleep on the restaurant table!
Where do you love to travel most in the world?
Tokyo, for the amazing energy, lovely people, the attention to detail, the gorgeous packaging of everything - and the food.
What does style in the Middle East mean to you?
Middle Eastern women are demanding clients, always seeking the latest trends. This very style conscious environment gave rise to some local designers that not only dress Middle Eastern women but women the world over. Names such as Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz have had to compete with the most prestigious designers in the world to win over local audiences and once they succeeded, they started dressing women the world over.
Do you have any beauty secrets?
Juicing after a bad day, following an alkaline diet, drink a lot of water and green juices. Oh and Joelle Ciocco's facials in Paris and Cristina Radu's in LA.
How do you relax?
On working days, boxing relaxes me; the trainer can guess if I had a good or a bad day depending on how hard I punch! And on the holidays, spending time with my husband and kids is my greatest chill pill. If I relax too much I get bored, I'm used to always be on the run.
What do you hope for in 2014?
Be more organised and open several pop up stores for Ç. Succeed in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Surf in Peru - just enjoy life!